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Conspiracy as Plot Type in Herodian’s Roman History

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image of Mnemosyne

Despite positioning himself as a contemporary eyewitness and heir to Thucydides, Herodian has generally been judged to be a poor historian prone to the use of compression, formulaic scenes, and even free invention. This paper examines Herodian’s application of a specific plot type to conspiracies against the emperor by praetorian prefects. The use of this plot type reveals something of Herodian’s understanding of history and historical methodology, while also serving an important narrative function in his text.

Affiliations: 1: Villanova University, dept. of Classical Studies


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